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Written By Suzanne Ebby, India
1. How A Snowfall Led Me to Thank God
On 30 December, Odessa, Ukraine experienced one of its worst snowfalls. It was so bad that everything came to a halt. Being stuck inside my room for four days straight made me feel bored and suffocated. It had not even been a week, but I had already begun to miss going out with my friends to enjoy the new year.
The snow made me think about the far worse experience of Noah and his family, shut inside a huge boat for more than 200 days. They must have experienced boredom, seasickness, and uncertainty, including the possibility they might never see land or another human being for the rest of their lives. But God was watching over them. He made the waters recede and made a powerful promise never to destroy the earth in the same way again, which He has kept to this day.
“Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” —Genesis 9:14–15
Although my friends and I spent 1 January huddled in the room together, we were able to use that time to remember and thank God for all that He has done for us.
2. How Faith Encourages Us in Times of Loss
My cousin suffered heart failure and spent two weeks battling for her life, during which she was placed on a ventilator and other life support devices. Her physical strength waxed and waned throughout but she was eventually promoted to glory. Over the course of the two weeks, many concerns filled our minds: would she make it, was God with us, and who was going take care of her nine kids when she was gone. It was an experience that tested the entire family’s faith, patience, and trust in God Almighty.
Faith, as we read in Hebrews 11:1, is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Confidence and assurance are an unlikely response to times of trial and tribulation, but we are called to believe that the future will work out as God has promised. Matthew 17:20 tells us that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.
When we as a family finally placed everything in the Lord’s hands, assured of His constant presence with us, our doubts vanished. We may not have seen my cousin immediately resurrected from the dead like Lazarus was, but we have faith that we will see her in heaven one day, just as He has promised.